Manchester United are set to get their pre-season schedule underway this weekend when they face Derby County at Pride Park, but club icon Sir Alex Ferguson might not be too pleased with their plans for the summer.
United are staying in the UK this summer for their pre-season fixtures instead of going abroad as they have in previous years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Travel restrictions mean tours of Asia, America and Europe to play exhibition games against the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are a thing of the past.
However, despite staying put, United will play just two games against top-flight opposition.
Newly-promoted Brentford and Everton will provide United's stiffest challenges on paper before the new campaign begins.
United's other matches will be played against Derby County, Preston North End and Queens Park Rangers.
While the teams United are playing are no pushovers, it's difficult to argue they'll provide as much of a challenge as United have had in previous years.
Legendary coach Ferguson said in the past that he believed playing top-flight opposition was key for preparing for the Premier League season.
Speaking in 2017 when United had games against Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona, Ferguson explained the importance of playing teams as good as themselves.
"The great thing about United is you've got to accept the challenge of beating the best," Ferguson told the club's official website..
"The expectation is always there and the matches we'll face in the ICC are all big ones.
"It's very good for the younger players to come into this type of competition in terms of preparing to be a Manchester United player.
"The more intense the challenge they can get, the better prepared they will be when facing Manchester City in an important league match or Real Madrid or Barcelona in Europe.
"The preparation to play in games as big as that can be started in pre-season tournaments like the ICC, which is fantastic."
Get your hands on your club's special edition 2021/22 annual. Find out more here.
Source: Read Full Article